The day after.
Although not a complete sentence, it does conjure up immediate associations in us. Some of those associations are filled with regret (the day after an argument, the day after a night of excess, the day after a night one can’t remember) and some are filled with joy (the day after meeting someone special, the day after a big win, the day after a night one will remember forever). It seems to me, the words “the day after” mark an association with a passion for something or someone.
For many of us, this election was marked with passion.
Now, on the day after, we need to wash off any regrets we may have and focus our passion on the future.
Democracy is not really about Election Day. It is about involvement. It is about the daily passion of working toward making our nation the best it can be today, tomorrow, and in the years to come. The only way to have leaders who lead with integrity, commitment, insight, and awareness of the needs of the people is to be actively engaged in the process.
So, in the “days after”, write to your legislators. Write to your President. Tell them how you feel, what you think is the right choice on issues. Tell them your story. They cannot, and do not, make decisions in a vacuum. They make decisions based upon the information they receive. If you do not participate in the dialogue, then you cannot complain about the outcome.
No one person, not even the President, determines policy in our country. We have an awesome system of checks and balances. So, today – the day after – channel your passion into a commitment to be involved in forging our future. Volunteer in your local political party, attend meetings held by your local legislators, write to your elected representatives. If all that seems like too much, then commit to watching more than one news channel or reading more than one newspaper so that you are committed to achieving a balanced view on the issues we face through an open mind. Regardless of the extent to which you do so, make involvement in our democracy an important part of your life.
We, the people…the day after – and every day – determine the present and the future. Embrace that responsibility with the degree of passion commensurate with the challenges that lay ahead.
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